'Tis The Season - Already?!

I'm not the type to want to rush through the end-of-year holidays and festivities, but there is one thing that I like to plan fairly early: Christmas cards. One important component to a good card is an updated family photo. This option is great for family members and friends that live far away and don't get to see you on a regular basis - and is also a good way to introduce your "face" to someone that you speak with over the phone or e-mail throughout the year. Currently, there are just 24 days until Christmas morning, and if you're anything like me, you're planning on mailing those cards out at the beginning of December to ensure holiday delivery. So that gives us just a few short days to take the perfect family photo, select the right holiday cards, order, and then address cards before sending out. Whew! See what I mean? It's best to plan ahead! So far, this is my favorite family photo from 2012. I like the posing and the smiles. It's a good representation of my little family. That said, I would like to have a more seasonally appropriate picture for this year's card. I don't want to do a repeat of last year:

Haha - I'm not even kidding. (Want proof? This was our card last year.) A variation of this image was part of a Christmas collage on our cards. It was funny and we got a lot of hilarious feedback from amused family and friends... but I want to have a nice, beautiful family photo card that my daughter can look back on without being super embarrassed one day.

Have you started planning your annual family photo? What type of family photography inspires you the most? Oh, and what do YOU want for Christmas?ย